“The Dog Strikes Back” - Vw’s Super Bowl XLV ad with the 2012 Beetle

Article by Christian A., on February 2, 2012

At the center of Volkswagen’s eagerly awaited Super Bowl commercial is a dog named Bolt and its quest to run faster than a 2012 VW Beetle. This ad is titled "The Dog Strikes Back.” To get into shape, Bolt trains for months in running, going up stairs, and swimming. And he does this to the tune of James Brown’s "Get Up Offa That Thing" by James Brown.

The seasons change and when Bolt hears the car as it approaches, he runs out the doggy door to chase it.

This spot is reminiscent of last year’s highly memorable ad that used a Star Wars reference. The camera then shows a bar filled with characters who were watching the new commercial. A man says that the dog is even funnier than the Vader kid from last year’s commercial. However, a man nearby doesn’t like this comment so much.

“This is a perfect opportunity for Volkswagen to celebrate with the fans that have made 2011 such a record-setting year for the company,” said Tim Mahoney, Chief Product and Marketing Officer, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “This year’s commercial will build on Volkswagen’s ability to tell human stories simply while continuing to build on the brand’s momentum in the year ahead.”

The Coke bottle, iPhone, Ray Ban Aviator, Beetle are some of the most recognizable product designs around the world. So how do you reinvent an independent and recognizable design? Understand the brand and the product and you will be able to do just that! Volkswagen Group design chief Walter de Silva worked with and Volkswagen Brand’s Klaus Bischoff and used their individual understanding to come up with a new and original styling for the Beetle.

The design team first worked under the direction of Bischoff. Their inspiration was to design the new Beetle and they aimed to come up with a design that took its cue from the original Beetle instead of the 1998 New Beetle. They also wanted to prioritize dynamic proportions. It is interesting to note that a lot of the team members owned their own Beetles. The old Beetle is somewhat a cult car for the younger designers at the German carmaker.

These are the seeds of the 2011 Beetle’s final design for the designers based in Wolfsburg: today’s car that is clearly a throwback to the car that gave birth to a corporate group. It is very obvious indeed. If you place the original Beetle and the 2011 Battle side by side and shine a light on top of both, you could see that the lines at the back are closely identical.

The designers have remade all the components of the new Beetle. It is now more dynamic, more manly and bolder. Bischoff says that if you compare it to the 1998 New Beetle, you would see that every part of the car is new.

Beetle now has a confident, dominant and clean athleticism. It has a lower and wider profile, with a longer front hood, while the front windscreen has a steeper incline and is shifter back more. The 1998 Beetle was dominated by a trio of semi-circles seen in the front wing, domed roof and the rear wing, and the new model does not have such geometry. The lower roof profile is more similar to the Ragster concept that was seen in Detroit around 2005.

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